What the countries are saying — and it’s more than just ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the waiver
In February it was “no sign of a breakthrough”. By mid-March there were signs
More in: ‘Quad’ raise hopes of a COVID-19 deal and revival for the beleaguered WTO
The waiver was agreed at the Ministerial Conference on June 17, 2022. The final text is here.
By Peter Ungphakorn
POSTED FEBRUARY 22, 2022 | UPDATED JUNE 18, 2022
The deadlock in the World Trade Organization (WTO) over a proposal to waive intellectual property protection related to COVID-19 is now well into its second year with no sign of a breakthrough.
India and South Africa first made the proposal in October 2020. They produced a revised draft the following May, saying it was based on discussions in the months in between, but the revision produced little change in positions.
The proposal would temporarily waive countries’ obligations under WTO rules to protect some types of intellectual property, for products used to deal with COVID-19.
That’s the general idea. Every part of it is debated.
NEW: WHO’s African ‘hub-and-spokes’ vaccine technology set-up
Continue reading “8 reasons why countries disagree over a WTO intellectual property waiver”
‘Troika’ had announced Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala enjoyed broadest support, but US had refused to join consensus
By Peter Ungphakorn
POSTED OCTOBER 28, 2020 | UPDATED FEBRUARY 15, 2021
On February 15, 2021, Nigerian Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was confirmed as the World Trade Organization’s next director-general. The decision was by a consensus of the WTO’s membership. See Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the new WTO chief, but let’s not get carried away.
Continue reading “US lifts objections that deadlocked the WTO over its next director-general”
This was made possible 10 days earlier when the new Biden administration in the US announced its “strong support” for her, ending three months of deadlock.
By then, South Korean candidate Yoo Myung-hee withdrew her candidacy. By overturning the stance of the Trump administration and its US Trade Representative, Robert LIghthizer, Biden paved the way for Okonjo-Iweala to be selected by the necessary consensus.
What follows was written before the deadlock was broken.